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HAPPY END_WOP.

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A M E R I C A N C O N S E R V AT O R Y T H E AT E R
Carey Perloff, Artistic Director Heather Kitchen, Executive Director

PRESENTS

Happy End
lyrics by bertolt brecht
music by kurt weill
original german play by dorothy lane
(elisabeth hauptmann and bertolt brecht)
book and lyrics adapted by michael feingold
directed by carey perloff
choreography by john carrafa
music direction by constantine kitsopoulos
geary theater
june 8july 9, 2006

WORDS ON PLAYS prepared by


elizabeth brodersen
publications editor
jessica werner
contributing editor
michael paller
resident dramaturg
margot melcon
publications assistant
a.c.t. is supported in part by grants from the
Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund
and the National Endowment for the Arts, which
believes that a great nation deserves great art.

2006 AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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table of contents
1. Characters, Cast, Synopsis, and Musical Numbers of Happy End

7. A True Story with a Happy End


by Michael Feingold

11. The Creators of Happy End

13. A Note on Sources


by Michael Paller

17. The Weill Party: The 20th Centurys Most Influential Composer Turns 100.
by Michael Feingold

21. Of Poor b. b.
by Bertolt Brecht

23. Carey Perloff on Happy End: Remarks Made to the Cast at the First Rehearsal of
the a.c.t. Production

31. A Composition of Opposites: An Interview with Music Director/Composer


Constantine Kitsopoulos on Kurt Weill and Happy End
by Jessica Werner

37. The Salvation Army


by Margot Melcon

41. About Chicago


by Michael Paller

47. A Few References in Happy End

50. Questions to Consider

51. For Further Information . . .

OPPOSITE Costume for The Fly. NEXT PAGE Bill Cracker.


All character sketches by costume designer Candice Donnelly.
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characters, cast, and synopsis of HAPPY END


The original German production of Happy End opened at the Theater am
Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, September 2, 1929. Michael Feingolds English translation
was first performed in the United States at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven,
Connecticut, April 6, 1972, and subsequently opened on Broadway at the Marin Beck
Theatre, May 7, 1977.

characters and cast

the gang
bill cracker Peter Macon
An aging gangster-as-hero, late 30s, handsome in a battered way. He means business and
looks it.

a lady in grey (the fly) Linda Mugleston


A handsome woman of indeterminate age. Tough and a good planner.

dr. nakamura (the governor) Sab Shimono


The Flys second-in-command. A pickpocket by trade. Always polite and fastidious.
Utterly ruthless.

sam mammy wurlitzer Jack Willis


A con man, voluble and sweaty; the gangs front man.
jimmy dexter (the reverend) Charles Dean
The gangs safecracker and explosives expert. He used to be a tent-show preacher and a
carnival pitchman. A thorough-going cynic.

bob marker (the professor) Rod Gnapp


1
The gangs mechanical expert. Can fix or repair any kind of gadget and is always fiddling
with something. He always tries to get a word in and never can.

johnny flint (baby face) Justin Leath


A large, young, ex-pug. Brain not inherently bad, but knocked silly from years of pum-
meling in the ring. Dumbly loyal, instinctively sees force as the answer to everything.
Idolizes Bill.

miriam, the barmaid Celia Shuman


Common, but a beauty. Devoted to Bill, who barely knows she exists.
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the salvation army


major stone Joan Harris-Gelb
An imposing middle-aged woman. Comic only in that she takes herself and her job with
such seriousness. Not a society dowager and not a cartoon bureaucrat.

captain hannibal jackson Steven Anthony Jones


A few years older than the Fly. Not so much prissy as respectable. Has amnesia; prone to
attacks of disorientation and migraine as the result of a blow on the head several years ago.

lt. lillian holiday (hallelujah lil) Charlotte Cohn


Young, beautiful, and intelligent. Tends to keep her emotions out of the way except when
preaching.

sister mary Ren Augesen


A city girl. Raised decent and rather a snob about the fact. Late 20s, not beautiful.
Dedicated in an officious way.

sister jane Lianne Marie Dobbs


A country girl, a few years younger than Mary. Pretty in a somewhat dumb way, sweetly
pious, naive.

brother ben owens Jud Williford


Youngish. Just joined and anxious to make good. Takes an instant liking to Miriam.

ensemble (cops and members of the fold) Jackson Davis, Dan Hiatt,
Drew Hirshfield, Wendy James,
Stephanie Saunders, Colin Thomson
They certainly are a scruffy lotstreetwalkers, vagrants, drunks, the respectable unem-
ployed and homeless. They come mainly for the free soup and a few hours of warmth, but
they do enjoy hearing Lillian preach a good rousing sermonits an age when public
2 speaking is a form of entertainment.

Michael Feingolds character descriptions are excerpted from Happy End: A Melodrama with Songs, published by Samuel French,
Inc. (1972).

the setting
Chicago, December 1919.
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synopsis

P rologue: The company sings praises to Saints Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller,
and j. p. Morgan, an ode to moneymakers and capitalism.

ct i: Bills Beer Hall (a way station on the road to hell). December 22. The Reverend
A and Baby Face, members of a Chicago gang, are terrorizing Mr. Prinzmeyer, presi-
dent of the local Mercantile Association. The Governor explains to Prinzmeyer that, to
earn protection from criminals, he must pay the gang a weekly fee. If he refuses, one day a
lady dressed in grey will stop him on the street and ask him to light her cigarette, which is
the signal that he has been marked for execution. The gang shows Prinzmeyer a wall of
hats representing people who have perished at the hands of the notorious gangster Bill
Cracker. As The Reverend fumbles with the lights and is scolded by The Governor, we
realize that the gang is actually rehearsing their act for later that night, and that the man
playing the part of Prinzmeyer is actually The Professor, another gang member.
The gang members discuss plans for the evening, and Baby Face wonders where Bill is.
The newspaper arrives and Baby Face reads aloud from the headlines that a rival gang, led
by Gorilla Baxley, has robbed a train carrying more than $20,000. The Governor assures
them that a big job of their own is coming their way. The Reverend praises their competi-
tor, until Bill Cracker arrives to announce that Baxley is dead. Bill claims that, with Baxley
out of the way, Bills Beer Hall will now be the center of the Chicago underworld.
A police officer carries a fainting woman into the bar. The gang recognizes her as The
Fly, their boss, and hustles the officer outside so they can strategize the bank job they have
planned for Christmas Eve. The Fly accuses Bill of skimming money from their last job.
She asks Bill to light her cigarette, which he does readily, to the horror of the rest of the
gang, who realize the acts deadly implication. They finalize the details of the Prinzmeyer
job, and The Fly faints again as the cop returns to help her out of the bar. Bill rebuffs the
gangs concern and leaves. The Governor informs the gang of a plan to plant Bills revolver 3
at that nights crime scene, to implicate Bill and lead the police to get him out of the way.
The Salvation Army, led by the tenacious Lillian Holiday, has mobilized outside of the
bar, singing hymns and selling salvation. They enter the bar singing, and the gang imme-
diately harasses them, with Hallelujah Lil getting the worst of it as the men grope and
taunt her. As she continues bravely with her sermon, the men become more forceful, until
Bill commands them to leave her alone. The Army leaves with Miriam, the bartender, as
their newest convert. Lillian stays behind with Bill as the rest of the gang shuffles off to
do the job. Bill offers Lillian a drink as she continues to preach.
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Later that night, after many glasses of whiskey, Lillian is still preaching to Bill, only now
with less religious fervor and more romantic insinuation. To prove her point about the
Salvation Army bringing happiness through music, Lillian sings for Bill. As she reaches
the end of the rather bawdy song, the rest of the Army returns to take her back to the
Canal Street Mission. At the same time a police officer arrives to arrest Bill, as they have
found his gun at the scene of the Prinzmeyer murder committed earlier that night. When
asked by the officer if she was with Bill during the crime, Lillian lies and says that she left
with the others. The Army drags Lillian back to the mission and Bill is hauled off to jail.

intermission

ct ii: The Salvation Army Mission, Canal Street. December 23. Major Stone upbraids
A Lillian for consorting with criminalsshe is creating a scandal that could make the
Army look bad; Lillian insists that it is necessary to preach to potential converts in their
own language, on their own turf. The cop arrives to get Lillians statement about the
evenings events. Realizing the seriousness of the charge against Bill, Lillian now tells the
truth, that she was alone with Bill when the murder was committed, which means he has
an alibi. Horrified, Major Stone relieves Lillian of her Army duties and orders her to leave
the mission. While Sister Jane and Sister Mary help Lillian pack, Miriam and Brother Ben
care for Hannibal, who keeps blacking out. Lillian leaves, heartbroken.
Sam arrives at the mission and tries to sell Major Stone a stolen organ. Hoping to per-
suade her of his sincerity, he stays for the service, putting on the face of a pious man.
Back at Bills Beer Hall, Baby Face regrets framing Bill for the murder, while The
Governor explains The Flys real motivation for getting Bill out of the way: she had been
planning a merger with the Baxley gang, a plan Bill ruined when he killed Gorilla.
At the mission, just as the service is nearing its conclusion, Bill arrives, looking for
Lillian. Sam runs back to the gang to tell them Bill is free.
4 Back at the bar, Lillian arrives searching for Bill. Just as Sam arrives to confirm that Bill
is out of jail, Lillian lets slip that she provided Bill with an alibi. Lillian tries to leave, but
Baby Face holds her back, and The Governor exits, on his way to find Bill at the mission.
Sister Mary, who has just been promoted to take Lillians place, tries to give the sermon
Lillian was supposed to deliver, to disastrous effect. The crowd calls for Hallelujah Lil, and
Major Stone announces that Lillian has been dismissed. The Governor arrives and escorts
Bill out of the mission at gunpoint. We hear the sounds of a scuffle, a gunshot, and splash.
Bill re-enters triumphantly with the gun, indicating to the Army to keep singing to cover
his escape. He disappears out the window just as Lillian arrives and calls out to him.
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intermission

A ct iii, scene one: Bills Beer Hall. Christmas Eve. The gang prepares for the bank
job. The Professor is fiddling with one of his inventions when Sam walks in, dressed
as a woman for the robbery. Sam rallies the gang with a song. The Professors machine
sputters, and the voice of The Fly comes out of it, specifying assignments for the job. She
reminds Bill that he is on a short leash after the previous days events. They all get their
alibis for the night straight and the gang departs, leaving Bill morosely drinking alone.
Lillian walks into the bar, downcast and rejected. She tells Bill that she has nowhere to
go and chastises him for what he did to The Governor, though he claims it was self-
defense. She sings Bill a song, and he begins to cry. Bill responds with a song of his own,
about being tough and never letting ones guard down. The Fly has come in through the
back entrance, and when Bill sees her, he realizes that he has missed the robbery. She asks
him to light her cigarette, but his match wont ignite. He runs out, leaving Lillian to make
her way back to the Salvation Army.
The gang returns after what they believe has been a successful robbery, but they soon
discover that Bill is nowhere to be found and assume that the money is gone. The Fly
reassures them that their take is safe, but she insists that they do one more thing before
claiming their share: kill Bill Cracker.

A ct iii, scene one: The mission. Later that night. The Salvation Army is preparing
for their Christmas celebration. Lillian comes in and sits with the fold, telling her
former fellow Salvationists that she is now just a poor soul like the rest of them. As she
argues with Major Stone, Bill walks in, drunk, and asks to stay, too. The Major is trying to
get them to leave, which Lillian adamantly refuses to do, when the rest of the gang saun-
ters in. The gang surrounds Bill, demanding to know where he was during the robbery.
When Bill pulls his gun, prompting the rest of the gang to do the same, Lillian steps
between them to keep them from killing each other. 5
A police officer enters and begins to interrogate the gang about their whereabouts dur-
ing the robbery. Each member provides a bogus alibi. When the cop turns to question Bill,
however, he wants to know about the disappearance of Dr. Nakamura the day before. Just
as Bill is confessing, The Governor appears with a head wound and announces that the
canal is not as deep as they had suspected.
The Fly appears suddenly and all guns are drawn and turned on Bill. At that moment,
Captain Hannibal Jackson recognizes The Fly as his long-lost wife. They embrace, and
while Lillian is trying to convince Bill that they should get engaged, The Fly offers the
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money from the bank robbery to Hannibal, who turns it over to Major Stone for the Army.
The cop leaves, outmaneuvered, and the Salvation Army and the gang decide to fight
together against their common enemythe rich. It is a happy end.

musical numbers in HAPPY END

prologue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Company

act i
Bills Beer Hall, December 22
The Bilbao Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Governor, Baby Face, Bill & The Gang
Ballad of the Pirates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Fly & The Gang
Lieutenants of the Lord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lillian, The Army & The Fold
March Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Army & The Fold
The Sailors Tango . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lillian

act ii
The Salvation Army Mission, Canal Street, and the Beer Hall, December 23
The Sailors Tango (Reprise) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lillian
Brother, Give Yourself a Shove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Army & The Fold
Song of the Big Shot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Governor
Dont Be Afraid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jane, The Army & The Fold
In Our Childhoods Bright Endeavor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hannibal
The Liquor Dealers Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hannibal, The Governor, Jane,
The Army & The Fold

act iii
scene i: The Beer Hall, December 24
The Mandalay Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sam & The Gang
6
Surabaya Johnny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lillian
Song of the Big Shot (Reprise) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bill
Ballad of the Lily of Hell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Fly

scene 2: The Mission, Later That Night


Song of the Big Shot (Reprise) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Governor & Bill
In Our Childhoods Bright Endeavor (Reprise) . . . . . . . . . . .Hannibal & The Fly

epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Company


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a true story with a happy end


by michael feingold

n 1928, the young writer-composer team of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill reached the
I height of its interwar fame. The success of The Threepenny Opera had converted Brecht,
the outspoken avant-garde poet, and Weill, the intensely serious atonal musician, into
Brecht-&-Weill, the clever musical comedy duo whose smash hit (within a year of its
opening, Threepenny Opera had received over 30 European productions) had the whole
continent whistling its seductive pop tunes and quoting its cynical couplets.
This kind of middlebrow popular success actually sat rather awkwardly with the two
men, and both were soon occupied with more serious projects. Brecht, who had recently
embraced Marxs economic theories, was working on his giant capitalist tragedy, St. Joan
of the Stockyards, while Weill had returned to his most ambitious theater project to date, the
full-length opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. For the moment, they thought,
they were through with commercial theater.
But the ebullient producer Ernst Josef Aufricht was eager to follow up on his huge
Threepenny success. Aufricht proposed that, for the fall of 1929, Brecht and Weill write him
a contemporary sequel to The Threepenny Opera (which had been based on John Gays 18th-
century Beggars Opera), to be produced with the same cast, at the same theater in Berlin
(the cozy Schiffbauerdamm, now the home of the Berliner Ensemble), opening on the first
anniversary of Threepennys memorable opening night.
The promise of redoubled fame and fortune made Aufrichts offer hard to resist, and
Brecht quickly started casting about for a suitable story to adapt. Elisabeth Hauptmann,
his faithful secretary, had the answer, discovered in the course of her exhaustive English-
language reading. (She was the one who had translated The Beggars Opera, after its
triumphant London revival by Nigel Playfair, and proposed it to Brecht in the first place.)
7
To this day no one is certain exactly what Hauptmanns English source was; to avoid copy-
right problems the story was credited to a mythical Dorothy Lane and described as hav-
ing appeared in the nonexistent J. & L. Weekly, St. Louis. The similarity to the plot of
Guys and Dolls has led many to speculate that Damon Runyon was the source of Happy
End, but Runyons story The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, from which Frank Loessers
musical is taken, was not published until the early 1930s.
The idea of a romance between a Salvation Army worker and a street tough, however,
was not new. In Major Barbara (1905), by Bernard Shaw, one of Brechts early idols, the
aristocratic Barbara has an intense confrontation with a surly dockside laborer, Bill Walker
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(note the similarity to the name Bill Cracker). And Major Barbara, reset in Chicago with
details lifted from Upton Sinclairs The Jungle, was Brechts starting point for St. Joan of the
Stockyards. Another likely source for Happy End was Edward Sheldons Salvation Nell
(1908), an early triumph of the American realist movement, in which the popular actress
Minnie Maddern Fiske starred as a good-hearted slum girl saved by Army preaching, who
struggles to rescue her common-law husband from gin and fisticuffs. One of Nells cohorts
is a popular hellfire preacher nicknamed Hallelujah Maggie, and the first act is set in a
saloon on Christmas Eve.
Brecht and Hauptmann, in any case, embroidered freely on whatever they took from
their source or sources, inventing with their politics, their complexly European vision of
America, and the specific abilities of their actors in mind. A sinister Oriental modeled on
the silent film roles of Sessue Hayakawa was an obvious role for Peter Lorre, who had
worked well with Brecht at Munich in The Jungle of Cities; a gangster who robbed banks
in womens clothes, improbably, was an amusing one for the portly Kurt Gerron, who had
made a hit as Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera. Carola Neher, who had given up the
lead role of Polly Peachum in Threepenny at the last moment to be at her dying husbands
bedside, would play the heroic Salvation Army lass, while the gang would be filled out with
other Brechtian favorites such as Oscar Homolka and Theo Lingen.
Kurt Weills wife, Lotte Lenya, whose performance as Jenny in Threepenny had made
her the toast of Berlin, was not available for Happy End, but Brechts wife definitely was.
Helene Weigel, whom he had recently married and who shared both his new communist
beliefs and his aesthetic militancy, was cast as the Lady in Grey. She had regarded The
Threepenny Opera (in which she played the small role of the brothel madam) as a severely

Grosstadt (Urban Debauchery), by Otto Dix (192728). Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany / The Bridgeman Art Library
International.
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compromised work from a political point of view and was determined to see that no such
compromises afflicted Happy End. Needless to say, this was not what Aufricht and his crew
had in mind. The script [of Happy End] turned out to be a jolly escapist romp with a few
leftist gibes along the way, its acid undercurrent getting lost in the collaborative bedlam
that accompanied any Brecht rehearsal, and Weigel apparently grew more and more
dissatisfied.
Accounts of what actually took place on opening night of Happy End (September 2,
1929, exactly a year and two days after the opening of The Threepenny Opera) differ
markedly. We know that the first two acts passed without incident and were favorably
received. Lenya remembered Weill telephoning her backstage at intermission, to say he
was sure they had a hit. In the third act, however, the audience erupted: The Lady in Greys
final speech, which seems harmless enough in the text, aroused violent booing and
whistling from the expensive seats, which in turn sparked shouts and counterarguments
from the gallery, precipitating a near riot. Some assert that Brecht had rewritten Weigels
speech privately with provocative intent, others that she improvised a diatribe against cap-
italism, still others that she pulled a notorious Communist Party broadside from the
pocket of her costume and began to harangue the audience with excerpts from it. To make
matters worse, Brecht and director Erich Engel had contrived to follow the speech with
an ironic hymn to capitalism (now traditionally used as the Prologue) that called for mock
stained-glass windows representing Saint Rockefeller, Saint Henry Ford, and Saint
j. p. Morgan. To a German bourgeois audience with a sizeable respect for both religion and
money, this was the last straw, and the first-nighters responded with yells, threats, and
what one reviewer described as a concert of whistling.
The critics gave the show a thorough shellacking in the next days papers. Brechts arch
enemy, the staid and influential Alfred Kerr, mocked the works derivative nature with the
phrase Happy entlehnt (happily borrowedKerr had accused Brecht of plagiarizing
Franois Villon in the Threepenny lyrics) and suggested that Engel would do better to write
9
plays himself than to get them from such as Brecht. Other critics followed Kerrs lead, with
even Brechts loyal supporter Herbert Jhering complaining that the last tableau appeared
to belong to an entirely different play. (He was not far wrong: its lyric, along with several
other key sections of Happy End, turned up the next year in St. Joan of the Stockyards). The
ticket-buying public, dismayed by the notices and fearful of riots, shunned the work, which
closed two days later in ignominious failure.
Brecht subsequently repudiated the script, in his notes to St. Joan crediting it entirely to
Hauptmann. When Happy End was finally revived in 1958, she followed suit, instructing
the German publisher to use only the name Dorothy Lane on the title page. (At the
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request of her heirs, her name was reinstated following her death in 1977.) Indeed the orig-
inal version, despite some amusing moments, is desperately makeshift, but just happens to
serve as a dramatic setting for some of the greatest theater songs ever written. The present
version is a free adaptation, which treats the Dorothy Lane script as loosely as the col-
laborators of 1929 treated their mysterious source. Only the lyrics, whose authorship Brecht
never denied, have been kept in more or less literal translation.
If Happy End was a setback for Brecht, it was pure victory for Weill. The songs, as inter-
preted by Lenya and countless other artists, are among the keystones of his reputation and
have kept the idea of the show alive even when its script seemed totally unfeasible. Over
the years, the score has served as a sort of reservoir from which people could draw music
for other Kurt Weill shows: in 1956 The Bilbao Song was interpolated into an off-
Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, anglicized by Marc Blitzstein as Our
Bide-a-Wee in Soho. The lyric of the Mandalay Song was given a new setting by Weill
for the Loving scene of Mahagonny, and several of the Salvation Army hymns turned up
in Weills Paris musical Marie Galante, four years later, as decidedly profane French dance-
hall tunes. After the present adaptation was commissioned by Robert Brusteins Yale
Repertory Theatre in 1972, many American productions appeared, including one on
Broadway in 1977 (which earned three Tony and three Drama Desk award nominations),
featuring Yale Rep alumni Meryl Streep and Christopher Lloyd. In this version, Happy
End has found its way to Canada, Australia, and Wales, to British and American regional
theaters and universities, and to Londons West End. Despite its stormy beginnings, Happy
End is now thriving, to use a word Brecht coined for the occasion, happyendlich.

Michael Feingold, author of the English-language version of Happy End, has been chief theater critic for the Village Voice in New
York since 1983. An earlier version of this essay is printed as an introduction to the published script.

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the creators of HAPPY END

bertolt brecht (18981956)


Born in Augsburg, Bavaria, Bertolt Brecht was publishing poems in a local newspaper by
the age of 16. His first produced play, Drums in the Night, was performed at the Munich
Kammerspiele in 1922. In 1924 he moved to Berlin, where he worked as a theater critic and
as Max Reinhardts assistant and dramaturg at the Deutsches Theater while writing a
number of plays. His early works include In the Jungle (1923) and Life of Edward II of
England (1924), but his first
real success came with The
Threepenny Opera in 1928, fol-
lowed a year later by Happy
End. He began reading Marxs
Das Kapital in the mid 1920s;
the influence of this work is
already noticeable in his first
collaboration with Kurt Weill,
the song cycle Mahagonny
(1927; also the full-length
opera The Rise and Fall of the
Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in conversation in the courtyard of the Theater am
City of Mahagonny, 1930). Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin during rehearsals of The Threepenny Opera in 1928
Marxism did not become a (Akademie der Knste Berlin-Brandenburg, Bertolt-Brecht-Archiv, Berlin)
driving force in his work, how-
ever, until the late 1920s/early 1930s, when he wrote Saint Joan of the Stockyards (1929) and
a number of short didactic plays.
Brecht was forced to flee Germany in 1933 with his wife, Helene Weigel, and their two
11
children, and after living in Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland he settled in California in
1941, where he remained during the war. During these years, he wrote what are generally
considered his most important plays: Mother Courage and Her Children (1939), The Good
Woman of Setzuan (1940), The Life of Galileo (1943), and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1944).
In 1947, having been called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities,
Brecht left the United States for Switzerland, and in 1949 he was asked by the government
of East Germany to form a state-financed theater company. He moved to East Berlin and
founded the Berliner Ensemble, taking up residence in 1954 in the Theater am
Schiffbauerdamm (where Happy End had premiered in 1929), which he ran until his death.
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kurt weill (190050)


Born in Dessau, Kurt Weill began his earliest attempts at composition at the age of 10, and
by 11 had written his first opera, based on a play by Karl Theodor Krner. He soon became
an official accompanist of the Dessau Court Theater, and by 15 was already employed in
the craft of the theater. Weill moved to Berlin in 1918, where he studied under Engelbert
Humperdinck. Stifled by the academic atmosphere, however, Weill left Berlin in 1919 to
work as a chorus master in Dessau and as director of the municipal theater in Ldenscheid.
In 1920 he returned to Berlin and devoted himself to composition as a student of Ferruccio
Busoni. Weill first became known with the production of two short, satirical surrealist
operas with texts by Georg Kaiser, The Protagonist (1926) and The Czar Has Himself
Photographed (1928). He began his famous collaboration with Brecht in 1927 with a
Songspiel titled Mahagonny, followed by The Threepenny Opera (1928), Happy End (1929),
Man Is Man (1931), the ballet The Seven Deadly Sins (1933), and the radio cantatas The
Berlin Requiem (1929) and Lindberghs Flight (1929).
With the increasing persecution of the Jews and the condemnation of his work as
degenerate by the Nazis, Weill left Germany in 1933; he settled with Lotte Lenya in the
United States in 1935. During his 15 years in this country, he collaborated on several sophis-
ticated stage musicals, including Johnny Johnson (with lyrics by Paul Green, 1936),
Knickerbocker Holiday (written with Maxwell Anderson, 1938), Lady in the Dark (with Moss
Hart and Ira Gershwin, 1941), One Touch of Venus (with s. j. Perelman and Ogden Nash,
1943), Street Scene (Weills American opera, written with Elmer Rice and Langston
Hughes, 1947), Love Life (with Alan Jay Lerner, 1948), Lost in the Stars (based on Alan
Patons novel Cry, the Beloved Country, 1949), as well as the Old Testament pageant opera
The Eternal Road (1937). Weills instrumental works include choral music, chamber music,
and a violin concerto. Weill died of a heart attack while he and Maxwell Anderson were
working on a new musical version of Huckleberry Finn.

12
dorothy lane
Dorothy Lane was the pen name of writer/translator Elisabeth Hauptmann (18971973),
who was Bertolt Brechts longtime editorial assistant and sometime mistress before his
exile from Germany. She risked her life to smuggle most of his manuscripts out of the
country before she herself emigrated to America, where they continued their collaborative
relationship. In 1946 Hauptmann married German-Jewish composer Paul Dessau, who
had succeeded Weill as Brechts main musical collaborator, and in 1948 she returned with
Dessau to East Berlin and the Berliner Ensemble, where she worked as a translator and
dramaturg and later oversaw the publication of Brechts collected works.
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a note on sources
by michael paller

n 1928, Bertolt Brecht had his first major commercial success with The Threepenny
I Opera. His process for creating that work included drawing heavily on eclectic sources
and adapting them, making something startlingly new out of familiar material. As Lotte
Lenya, one of the stars of Threepenny, wrote in 1956:

This always has been Brechts procedure. As his admirers have it: to adapt,
reinterpret, re-create, magnificently add modern social significance; or, in his
detractors eyes: to pirate, plagiarize, shamefully appropriateto borrow at will
from the vanished great like Marlowe and Shakespeare and Villon, and even
from his actual or near contemporaries like Kipling and Gorky and Klabund.

The method succeeded so well with Threepenny that he employed it again when he and
his collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann, tried to repeat their success later that year.
Officially, they credited Happy End as adapted from a short story by Dorothy Lane that
had been published in the J&L Weekly of St. Louis. The J&L Weekly, however, wasnt
located in St. Louis or anywhere else, and Dorothy Lane existed only as a pseudonym for
Brecht and Hauptmann. Indeed, Happy End was largely written by Hauptmann (referred
to by Lenya as Brechts vigilant shadow) with lyrics by Brecht. Brecht supplied
Hauptmann with a general plot outline, on which she embroidered (and our English trans-
lation has been liberally adapted from the original by Michael Feingold).
While some of the actual sources of Happy End are hard to identify, others are obvious.
The most obvious is George Bernard Shaws Major Barbara (1905), which Hauptmann and
Brecht would have known through Siegfried Trebitschs German translation, although
Hauptmann knew English well and may have read it in the original. Shaw was popular in
13
Germany and Major Barbara especially so. He was also one of Brechts favorite authors. In
an essay written in honor of Shaws 70th birthday in 1926, Brecht wrote, [T]he reason why
Shaws own dramatic works dwarf those of his contemporaries is that they so unhesitat-
ingly appealed to reason. This may be arguable, but nonetheless, in this tribute Brecht
pays Shaw the ultimate compliment of turning him into a Brechtian.
Brecht had already borrowed a scene from Major Barbara in his first play with a
Chicago setting, In the Jungle, in 192223. In scene two, the young man Garga spits in the
eye of a Salvation Army worker who replies, I thank you in the name of my mission. The
original was a moment in Major Barbaras Act ii, where the ruffian Bill Walker recalls how
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he spit in the eye of Todger Fairmawls, a recent Salvation Army convert, who replied to
him, Ow, that Aw should be fahund worthy to be spit upon for the gospels sike! For
lyrics in the second act finale of The Threepenny Opera, Brecht again borrowed from Major
Barbara. The millionaire arms merchant Andrew Undershaft admits that honor, justice,
truth, love, and mercy are the graces and luxuries of a rich, strong, and safe life and cant
be afforded by the poor. A few pages later, Barbara says of her charges, How are we to
feed them? I cant talk religion to a man with bodily hunger in his eyes. In Threepenny,
Ginny Jenny sings (in Eric Bentleys translation): All you who say what neckline is decreed
us / And who decide when ogling is a sin / Your prior obligation is to feed us / When weve
had lunch, your preaching can begin. (This was not a uniquely Shavian notion;
Hauptmann and Brecht almost certainly also knew it from the first modern German play-
wright, Georg Bchner, who expresses it in Woyzeck.)
For Happy End, Hauptmann and Brecht apparently adapted from Barbara the cockney
roughneck Bill Walkers name and turned him into Bill Cracker, beer house proprietor and
criminal. Further, they adapted Shaws Act ii situation, in which Major Barbara, a young
Salvation Army worker, takes the gospel into the citys worst neighborhoods. She succeeds
with some of the downtrodden, although not as well with Bill Walker as Happy Ends
Sister Lillian Holiday does with Bill Cracker. Both Barbara and Lillian walk unafraid into
dens of vice; both are unafraid to confront their respective fearsome adversaries named Bill.

MAJOR BARBARA HAPP Y END (feingold translation)

barbara: The devil, Bill. When he gets lillian: Im not worried about His happi-
round people, they get miserable, just like ness. Im worried about yours.
you. bill: Im happy! Im as happy as I can be!
bill: Aw aint miserable. . . . p.s.: I can have any broad in Chicago. So
barbara: Well, if youre happy, why dont what have I got to be unhappy about?
14
you look happy, as we do? lillian: I dont know. Why are you
bill: Awm eppy enaff, Aw tell you. Woy unhappy?
cawnt you lea me alown? Wot ev I dan to bill: I aint! And I dont need an unem-
you? Aw aint smashed your face, ev Aw? ployed hallelujah tootsie telling me how to
run my life.
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A couple of other examples from Act ii of Major Barbara and Happy End:

MAJOR BARBARA HAPP Y END (feingold translation)

cusins: You do not understand the lillian: Youre wasting your life. You dont
Salvation Army. It is the army of joy, of need murder and thefts and hard liquor to
love, of courage . . . it marches to fight the keep you happy. The Army is always happy.
devil with trumpet and drum, with music Its music and light and joy. Thats why I
and dancing, with banner and palm, as came to work there, for the joy.
becomes a sally from heaven by its happy
garrison.

Another source may have been Edward Sheldons 1908 melodrama Salvation Nell,
which starred the American actress Minnie Maddern Fiske. It features Hallelujah
Maggie, a Salvation Army girl who ventures into one of New York Citys most danger-
ous slums. On Christmas Eve, Maggie converts the hard-working but not entirely virtu-
ous Nell Sanders to the gospel. In the subsequent acts, Nell becomes a hallelujah lass
herself and brings her reprobate, violent lover, Jim Platt, to the Lord, saving him from a
further life of crime. Certainly, one thing Hauptmann picked up from her reading, and
also might have seen firsthand in Berlin, was the breathtaking bravery of these Salvation
Army women, who moved into the worst neighborhoods in cities like London, New York,
and Berlin, entering the lowest slums and roughest saloons with nothing to protect them
but an unshakable belief in their mission.
By 1928, Brecht had long rejected Expressionism, the style perfected in Germany before
World War i that emphasized characters emotions above most other theatrical values.
Still, he was influenced by it early in his career. Hauptmann and Brecht certainly knew
From Morn to Midnight, one of the most famous Expressionist plays by the most success-
15
ful Expressionist playwright, Georg Kaiser. In this 1918 work, a bank teller embezzles
60,000 marks. After being rejected by the woman for whom he impulsively stole the
money, he embarks on a daylong journey throughout a nightmarish Berlin, each stop rep-
resenting a station of the cross on the modern mans torturous road to Golgotha. Finally,
he arrives at a Salvation Army meeting, where several witnesses testify to the ways in
which the Army has saved their souls. Inspired by their stories, the clerk rises to his feet
and proclaims that he has learned from the others examples how, Free from dross [the
soul] mounts in praise, purified in these two red-hot crucibles: confession and penance.
Money, he declares, is the worst of all evils, and the Salvation Army hall is the hot fur-
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nace heated by your contempt for all mean things. He hurls the money into the air and it
flutters to the feet of the stunned audience. A mad panic for the 60,000 ensues, as the
audience of the purified scrambles for whatever it can get, and salvation be damned. One
can hear, in a different key, this scene replayed near the end of Happy End.
Other source material was drawn from newspapers and fieldwork, some of which had
been collected previously for other work. Brecht and Hauptmann were inveterate news-
paper readers, and Hauptmann, according to the Brecht scholar John Willet, gathered
news cuttings and other reports of crime, commerce, and natural disaster [and] herself
went out to report on Salvation Army meetings. Brecht also read up on the lives of
famously wealthy businessmen.
Finally, Europeans were very familiar with American popular culturemusic, films,
and plays flooded Europe during the 1920s. Hauptmann and Brecht imbibed these imports
as eagerly as other Europeans, sifted them through their own sensibilities, and wove these
strands together for the text and lyrics of Happy End.

16
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the weill party


The 20th centurys most influential composer turns 100.

by michael feingold (2000)

F ill in the missing term that links each of


the following pairs: Ferruccio Busoni
and Fred MacMurray; Jean Cocteau and Lee
Strasberg; Fritz Lang and Langston Hughes.
Hint: Its a composer whose music has been
recorded by rock groups, avant-garde ensem-
bles, lounge acts, Broadway stars, opera
houses, and Anjelica Hustons grandfather.
Second hint: Im writing this on his 100th
birthday. Final hint: Most people, mis-
guidedly, only think of his name as coming
immediately after Bertolt Brecht. A hun-
dred years ago, on March 2, 1900, Kurt Julian
Weill was born in Dessau, a midsize city in
eastern Germany.
Since another of Brechts major musical
collaborators was a composer named Dessau,
you might say that the ironies and confusions
around Weill began at his birth. But Paul Kurt Weill ( Bettmann/CORBIS)
Dessau did not write the tune of Mack the Knifenor, for that matter, did Bertolt
Brecht, though in later life he enjoyed hinting hed had a hand in it. That sums up, in a
way, the struggle Weills had establishing his reputation: His tremendous force and origi-
17
nality as a composer were only equalled by his ability to subsume himself, as any theater
artist must, in the collaborative act. He changed the face of theater music, and permanently
altered the way we think about music in general, but people still think first of Brecht and
Weill. And yet he wrote for over 25 other lyricists, an astonishing array that includes
everyone from Cocteau and Hughes to the Berlin cabarettist Walter Mehring and the Tin
Pan Alley scribbler Sam Coslow. Brechts may be the most lasting theatrical voice among
Weills librettists, but the othersGeorg Kaiser, Franz Werfel, Jacques Deval, Maxwell
Anderson, Alan Jay Lernermake up a list from which you could easily build a course on
the modern history of the popular stage. Wherever you go in music theater, from mass
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spectacle to surrealist caprice, Weill was there ahead of you, humanizing the didactic and
bringing depth to the divertissement. He was an architect, Virgil Thomson wrote when
he died, a master of musico-dramatic design, whose works, built for function and solidity,
constitute a repertory of models. And he did it all in 50 years: The centennial of Weills
birth is also the 50th anniversary of his death (April 3, 1950, of heart failure). The ongoing
celebration of his work is both a birthday party and a memorial.
Which is appropriate, because one reason Weills career now looms so large in retrospect
is that he himself appears as a model of sorts: the composer who survived everything. Born
into the Wilhelmine Empire at its ostentatious peak, he lasted long enough to see the atom
bomb and the Cold War. A principal target of the Nazi campaign against degenerate art,
he had to relearn theater practice and backstage jargon in three foreign countries and
Hollywood to boot. His catalog teems with missing and unexplained items: One reason
commentators wax pompous about the two Kurt Weills is that in America he down-
played some of his German achievements, under the impression that the scores had been
irrecoverably destroyed by the Nazis; it isnt every tunesmith who gets personally singled
out by Hitler as a menace to Aryan culture. Two Weills? The miracle is that we have one.
Besides, given the range of his creative personality and the number of situations in which
he worked, the number is more like six.
And this, too, is part of what makes Weill the quintessential modern musician. His is
the art of a man who saw that no institution was permanent, that instability was the struc-
tural center of modern life. A lover of Bach and Mozart, Busonis prize pupil, he was edu-
cated to carry on the German classical tradition in symphony and opera; instead, he dis-
rupted it with tango recordings, Dada libretti, and knotty, polytonal scoring. The final
blow to his career in the traditional forms was Brecht, whose poetry lured him to attempt,
through the marriage of cabaret and classical expectations, a political disruption to match
the aesthetic one for which he was already becoming notorious. Commissioned to com-
pose a chamber opera, he obliged with a plotless songplay (Songspiel) made of six poems
18
linked by orchestral interludes. When he and Brecht built it into a full three-act opera,
Mahagonny, the evening opened with a truck driving onstage. And when the word opera
actually appeared in the title of a Brecht-Weill work, it played in an ordinary theater and
had in its principal roles an operetta tenor, a singing actress, a cabaret diseuse, and a dancer
whom nobody but Weill thought could sing at alluntil opening night made Lotte Lenya
the toast of Berlin and, soon after, the definitive performer of Weills songs.
The Threepenny Opera, a work that can feel at home anywhere from dark subbasements
to vast amphitheaters (including opera houses), is the unlocalized locus classicus of Weills
brilliant indeterminacy. Its form is as hard to pin down as its setting, which would be
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London at the time of Queen Victorias coronation (1837), except for the 1890s costumes
and Kipling quotations, the passages drawn from the works 1728 source ( John Gays The
Beggars Opera), and the intermittent lapses into 1920s Berlin slang usage. Weills score
moves from scraps of realized folk song through long verse and chorus ballads to extended
choral finales that are meant to remind you of Bach. And its all orchestrated for a pecu-
liar combination of instruments that happened to belong to one of Berlins more popular
dance bands.
Threepenny made so much money that its now famous authors inevitably attempted a
sequel, Happy End, which did nothing for Brechts reputation but enriched Weills with a
set of perhaps even greater songs. But even as Weill was immersed in Brecht texts, the two
mens collaboration cracked open. It was partly a matter of contracts, on which Brecht
notoriously took unfair advantage of even his closest friends; but it was nearly as much a
question of music versus words. There may also have been a third issue in the contrast
between Weills firm but soft-spoken, invariably courteous behavior and the colleague-
alienating tantrums that were such an important part of Brechts tactical arsenal. The first
word everyone who knew Weill personally uses about him is gentle. But gentleness is
often the velvet glove that masks an iron determination; under enough pressure, worms
will turn. Gilbert and Sullivan wrote 14 stage works together, Rodgers and Hart over 20,
Brecht and Weill barely half a dozen. By the last of these, the masterful sung ballet Seven
Deadly Sins (1933), they were on strictly formal terms. After that, Weill often helped Brecht
out, and planned new works with him, but always guardedly.
Purest in structure and musically the most fully achieved of his works, Seven Deadly Sins
is probably Weills masterpiece. Its also a pivotal midpoint that seems to sum him up:
Written in Paris, its a German work set in America; it uses the form of traditional reli-
gious parables to transmit secular economic ideas through an image derived from Freudian
psychology. For all its purity its a hybrid worka ballet with principal roles for soprano
and male a cappella quartet. For all its somber gravity, its central image has a trashy, pop-
19
ular source: The two sisters, practical singing superego and impulsive dancing id, are the
good and evil twins of a thousand horror movies. Weill transfigures the tawdriness with his
distinctive blend of objectivity and compassion: When dancing Annas heart gets broken,
her singing twin (who caused the break) gives the word Schwester (sister) a downward
portamento, on a major sixth, that carries your ears straight back to Countess Almavivas
sorrows in Mozarts Marriage of Figaro. Tawdriness cant beat that.
Nor could tawdry America beat Weills classicism. Fascinated by his adopted countrys
roiling, emergent culture, he turned each of his Broadway projects into an experiment in
formThomsons repertory of models with a vengeance. While ideologues like
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Theodore Adorno moaned over his pursuit of commercial success, and highbrows like
Elliott Carter fretted over his abandoning art music for hit tunes, he was stretching
Broadways modest tolerance for innovation to the limit: a satirical operetta about the cor-
ruption of democracy (Knickerbocker Holiday); a psychological drama interrupted by short
surrealist operas (Lady in the Dark); a musical burlesque on modern arts dilemma of self-
awareness (One Touch of Venus); a pageant of American history told vaudeville style, as the
story of one marriages failure (Love Life); a naturalistic social drama transmuted to
Puccinian heights (Street Scene); a choral cantata on the tragedy of racism (Lost in the Stars).
If thats the track record of a commercial composer, then Emma Goldman was Cole
Porter in drag. Lenya was right: There is, as she insisted to her dying day, only one Kurt
Weill.
And who is he, exactly? Easier to say what he is in musical terms. Hes that sighing
downward sixth. Hes the sensuous English horn solo in The Eternal Road. Hes the unex-
pected d natural that nobody except Lenya gets right when they sing Foolish Heart. Hes
the upsetting contrapuntal trombone in the last chorus of Surabaya Johnny. Hes the
tango rhythm that crops up everywhere, the Mozart figured bass that shocks you awake in
the hurricane scene of Mahagonny, the pennywhistle sound that slices through the lush
train-station chorale in Lost in the Stars. Where theres a bittersweet tune, a rhythm that
clutches your heart, a propulsive sense of something big being built, and a startling flash
of orchestral color, theres Kurt Weill. Everything he wrote, Thomsons obituary said,
became, in one way or another, historic. He literally didnt know the half of it. Fifty years
later, on his 100th birthday, were still discovering Kurt Weill.

This article originally appeared in the Village Voice, March 14, 2000. 2000 Village Voice.

20
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of poor b.b.
by bertolt brecht

I, Bertolt Brecht, came out of the black forest.


My mother moved me into the cities as I lay
Inside her body. And the coldness of the forests
Will be inside me till my dying day.

In the asphalt city Im at home. From the very start


Provided with every last sacrament:
With newspapers. And tobacco. And brandy.
To the end mistrustful, lazy, and content.

I am polite and friendly to people. I put on


A hard hat because thats what they do.
I say they are animals with a quite peculiar smell
And I say: Does it matter? I am too.

Before noon on my empty rocking chairs


Ill sit a woman or two, and with an untroubled eye
Look at them steadily and say to them:
Here you have someone on whom you cant rely.

Towards evening its men that I gather round me


And then we address one another as gentlemen.
Theyre resting their feet on my table tops
And say: Things will get better for us. And I dont ask when.

In the grey light before morning the pine trees piss 21


And their vermin, the birds raise their twitter and cheep.
At that hour in the city I drain my glass, then throw
The cigar butt away and worriedly go to sleep.

We have sat, an easy generation


In houses held to be indestructible
(Thus we built those boxes on the island of Manhattan
And those thin aerials that amuse the Atlantic swell).
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Of those cities will remain what pass through them, the wind!
The house makes glad, die the eater: clears it out.
We know that were only tenants, provisional ones
And after us there will come: nothing worth talking about.

In the earthquakes to come, I very much hope


I shall keep my cigar alight, embittered or no
I, Bertolt Brecht, carried off to the asphalt cities
From the black forests inside my mother long ago.

From Bertolt Brecht: Poems 19131956, edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim with the cooperation of Erich Fried (New
York: Methuen, 1976).

22
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carey perloff on HAPPY END


Remarks made to the cast at the first rehearsal of the a.c.t. production, May 8, 2006.

he genesis of this particular project is in the production we did in 2000 of The


T Threepenny Opera. My mother is Viennese, so I grew up with this musicin
German, of course. So, I directed Threepenny as an homage to her. At the time we also
started talking about Happy End, because it is in a way the heir to Threepenny. Threepenny
came at an interesting moment in Brechts development as an artist, the beginning of his
exploration of what he later came to call epic theater. And it was the first time he had
really worked with Kurt Weill, who at the time was not yet known as a theater composer;
he was a classical composer.
They were terribly different people, Brecht and Weill. Brecht was a self-created punk,
long before there was such a thing in popular awareness. He was from Augsburg, in the
German countryside, but he was highly educated, and a remarkable poet. He was an inter-
esting playwright, sometimes a great playwright, and sometimes not a great playwright, but
he was one of the truly great poets of the 20th century. His poems are vernacular, written
the way people speak, but theyre heartbreakingly romantic and at the same time very bit-
ter, very tough, very personal, very specific, unbelievably theatrical. He used his poems like
a diary. He wrote dozens of poems a day and then turned many of them into songs.
In the late 1920s, Brecht was feeling his way toward a kind of theater that would mat-
ter to him. You have to understand what was going on in Weimar Germany during this
period. On the one hand, there was cabaret, cross-dressing, vaudeville, dance halls
. . . American jazz was coming into Berlin in a very big way, as were spirituals. People in
Berlin were just beginning to understand the American black experience. But the theaters
were still full of a very bourgeois kind of boulevard drama. So when we talk about Brecht
being antisentimental, wanting to break the frame, its not because he was didactic or
academic or any of those things you learn in your theater courses about the alienation 23
effect. It is that he was bothered by the kind of sappy sentimentality of typical turn-of-the-
century German drama. He loved the muscular heritage of playwright/poets like Schiller
and Goethe, but he wanted to create theater that woke people up. He liked to say that if
theater were as good as boxing, people would come to see it. The central theatrical idea for
him was virtuosity: that theater should be muscular and demonstrative and unsentimental.
On the other hand, he was fantastically romantic and in love with many womenwhom
he then corralled into writing plays for him, without crediting them. He was a terrible
man! [laughter]
HAPPY END_WOP.qxd 5/25/06 1:27 PM Page 24

Brecht was a musician, himself, and music was very important to him. There are pic-
tures of him as a young man with his guitar; he often set his writing to music and could
typically be found in coffee houses playing his own songs. Then in the early to mid twen-
ties, he met Kurt Weill, his opposite: a nice Jewish boy, beautifully trained, very ambitious,
impeccably dressed, very serious about his work, never stayed up past ten, married to Lotte
Lenya, etc. Here again, is one of the many things that need to be debunked. We think of
Kurt Weills music as something that you sing like this [spoken in a rough, rasping voice],
because thats what Lotte Lenya sounded like, when she sang Weills music, after a life-
time of smoking cigarettes. So thats what we think his songs should sound like, but its
totally wrong. Thats why we cast such extraordinary singers in this production.
So Brecht and Weill worked together on Threepenny, and to their deep humiliation, it
was a huge commercial success. I say humiliation, because, you have to know, during this
period Brecht was starting to read Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin (the brilliant Marxist
critic), and beginning to analyze the political situation in which Germany found itself.
Imagine being a 25-year-old man in Berlin between the wars. Your country has just been
decimated in the First World War, and it has
been forbidden to re-arm. Yet, slowly, incre-
mentally, in the late twenties, Germany
begins to secretly re-arm. Everyone knows it,
but nobody can talk about it. The armament
industry begins to rise, just as National
Socialism, which is still a small party and at
first is brushed aside, starts to show its face.
We have to remember, because its chilling,
that Nazism didnt simply emerge fully devel-
oped in 1938. Its presence was definitely
already felt in Berlin in the twenties. Partly
24
thats because the poverty in Germany after
World War i was devastating. And yet, before
1929, there was also a lot of money being
made. And, as always, part of the fuel for
anti-Semitism was Jewish success in banking.
Much of the banking industry in Berlin dur-
ing this period, as well as manufacturing and

Lill Bilbao
HAPPY END_WOP.qxd 5/25/06 1:27 PM Page 25

textiles and other industries, was in Jewish hands. So the tension between economic classes
was palpable. People were streaming into Berlin from the countryside, where nobody could
make a living anymore as farms were confiscated or lost, looking for a way to survive, and
literally starving on the streets. Brechts famous motto, Bread first, morality later, was
something he believed long before he ever read Marx. He was incredibly cynical about
political theories that didnt deal with practical issues, like how people got fed.
Moreover, during this period there was no safety net, which was also true in the United
States, pre-Roosevelt. So there was no mechanism for saving people who were falling off
the edge, except, interestingly, home-grown organizations like the Salvation Army. It was
one of the few places to turn for people who couldnt feed themselves and couldnt find a
place to live. And it was a very tough place. The Salvation Army set itself up in the neigh-
borhoods where people actually lived. It
wasnt some fancy relief organization
uptown; there were Salvation Army mis-
sions in the worst parts of the city. And
people in need were taken in and put to
work right away, made part of the Army.
The 1920s in Berlin were also a fan-
tastic period artistically. There were all
those incredible theater posters, those
collages, that came from Russia, this was
the beginning of montage and of
Expressionist film. Brecht was a fanatic
filmgoer, and he loved Jimmy Cagney.
Baby Face in Happy End, the young
wanna-be who hopes to grow up to
become the real-life gangster Bill
25
Cracker, comes right out of Cagneys
The Public Enemywell, not exactly,
since that movie came out in 1931 and
Happy End was written two years earlier,
but its the same idea. Brecht also
worked with Peter Lorre, who played
Nakamura in the first production of

Hallelujah Lil
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Happy End, and he loved that kind of acting. Brecht was also close to Charlie Chaplin, and
he thought Lillian Gish was mysterious and fascinating in those early d. w. Griffith
silentshe named Happy Ends Hallelujah Lil after her.
Brecht was also obsessed with America, although he had never been here. He set sev-
eral plays in Chicago, including St. Joan of the Stockyards, which is another good play to
look at as source material for this, because it explores a somewhat similar idea. Its about a
girl who goes up against Pierpont Mauler, a meat-packing executive, and tries to close
down his slaughterhouse. Brecht had read several books about Chicago, including Upton
Sinclairs The Jungle. Chicago was to artists in Berlin something like Hollywood was to a
writer like [Anglo-American novelist/playwright Christopher] Isherwood. It was the place
of all extremes where anything could happen. Extreme poverty, extreme wealth. Extreme
violence, extreme beauty. Everything collided.
This play is also a fantasy. Even the neighborhood where it is set cant be found on a
map of Chicago. Its Brechts creation. The Polish critic Jan Kott said that in Poland, when
they want realism they do Beckett, and when they want fantasy they do Brecht. Ive always
thought about that because thats how I direct
Beckett, too. I think Beckett is much more real-
istic than people think. But Brecht is utter fan-
tasy, and so he frees you from a certain kind of
theatrical realism. He imagined what these
gangsters and the world of Chicago would have
been like. And these characters have very active
fantasy lives, because theyve never been out of
that crummy downtown Chicago environment.
It is difficult for Americans to understand
the paradoxical nature of Brecht-Weill musi-
cals. The lyrics and the music just dont sit
26
easily together. Where the lyric is bitter and
aggressive and violent, the music is often at its
most lyrical; and, where the lyric is romantic
and filled with longing, the music is often very
tough. You have to allow both of those things
to happen. For instance, the contrast between
The Flys lyrical soprano and her tough-ass
lyrics is very unnerving.
Dancer
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Its interesting to me that Weill did that. I think its because he understood about Brecht
that beneath the aggressive, tough, fuck-you stance is a person filled with huge longing:
for a more utopian world, for a different kind of art, for undying love. Longing to escape.
Its very bittersweet. So the songs are fantasies that go to exotic places like Bilbao, which
is a remote, beautiful place on the north coast of Spain, or Mandalay, in the South Seas.
Places that nobody in his world had been. In imagining their escape, these gangsters can
for just a moment fill themselves up with the possibility of another world. Thats why it
has to be very romantic. During these songs, the lights change, bringing lush, exotic col-
ors to the grey, mundane world of Bills Beer Hall, and a tin moon descends. The moon is
a significant image in Brecht, and its usually made of tin. When its lit, its beautiful and
glowing and fantastic, and then when the house lights come up again you can see its just
a tin moon taped to the wall, and all illusions are broken. Thats a recurring theme in
Brechts work: if you light it just right, for a minute you believe; then the lights come up
again and you see its just a piece of shit, and everybody has to go on with their lives.
The songs in Happy End are unbelievably beautiful. The privilege of singing this music
cannot be overestimated. Within two weeks of the opening of the original production,
these songs could be heard in every bar in
Berlin. People often say that the songs in
Brecht musicals dont advance the story, but I
think thats wrong. Theyre not character songs
like the songs in, say, Oklahoma!, and theyre
not sung through, but they do accomplish very
important things. For example, in Happy End,
when Sam comes out dressed as Mammy in his
pearls and dress and blonde wig, and he sings
Mandalay, that is the only way to get that
down-and-out group of guys revved up enough
27
to go out on Christmas Eve and do that rob-
bery. Thats the point of the song. And, when-
ever Lillian sings, Bill cries. He is very suspi-
cious of music, because it makes him cry. There
is something about her singing that cracks him
open, and that is terribly important. Its how
she makes love to him. He tries to combat her

Baby Face
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by being tough, when he sings Song of the Big Shot, just as Nakamura tries to win his
battle in the gang by singing the same song.
Music was also terribly important to the Salvation Army, because singing was the thing
that unified all these people. Brecht wrote hilarious riffs on Army songs, like Brother,
Give Yourself a Shove. These are Brechts parodies of Salvation Army tunes, but theyre
not that far from the real thing.
So, how to approach this piece? It seems to me, these people are terribly real. But this
isnt naturalism. Its a very interesting challenge. The stakes are very high, because the sit-
uation is so desperate. The needs are very great, and the music comes out of those needs,
and the sexuality is enormous, because it comes out of Brechts own sexuality and appetite.
The fear underlying it all is also great, because they could feel the culture falling apart
around the edges. And I think the regret is tremendous. Brecht and Weill must have
known by the time this piece was produced that the city they knew and loved was disap-
pearing. The setting is a fantasy of Chicago, but its actually Berlin. So I think this piece
is really about what it is to be a young person coming of age in a city that is filled with hate
and confusion and great art and great beauty that is about to be lost.

28

Model of the set for Happy End designed by Walt Spangler


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This is also a big dance show. The music is all dance music, and Weill called it that. It
starts with a fox trot, its filled with tango, and I think thats because there is a huge yearn-
ing for escape. Its also dangerous dancing. Men tangoing. I think this is going to be a great
adventure, especially with [choreographer] John Carrafa, who did Urinetown, with us. His
specialty is working with actors who dance, as opposed to professional dancers, so his work
is very character specificjust as the choreography in Urinetown was so beautifully specific.
I think these characters are all beaten-down people with big dreams. The gangsters each
have their own dreams. The Professor really wants to be Marconi; if only he could invent
something that really worked he could get out of this shitty gang. Baby Face longs to be
Bill Cracker, and Bill longs to be Jimmy Cagney in the movies. None of them can quite
escape. But it isnt that their dreams arent big enough.
Lillian (and Sister Jane and Sister Mary are a little bit like this, too) longs to be the
visionary who transforms peoples hearts. Public speaking was very important during this
period. People stood on soapboxes on street corners and spoke with great vision about the
Apocalypse and what would happen if you didnt convert. I think Lillian really believes
that its possible to change someones soul. Its partly awakening love, its partly awakening
desire, its partly triggering someones imagination; its all of those things that make some-
one transform. Sister Marys speech about the telescope is so fabulous. She gets a little con-
fused because shes a speaker in training and she cant quite remember how it goes, but the
metaphor about seeing God through the telescope is powerful. This is the kind of speech
people actually gave and took very seriously. Brother Ben would also be in training to do
this. Hannibal Jackson, too.
Nakamura is the most ambitious. All he wants to do is get rid of Bill, and then hes
going to conquer the world. And he almost does it. Hes a good exampleSab [Shimono,
the actor who plays Nakamura in this production] and I talked about this when we met
of one of Brechts favorite techniques, which is to fully commit to a stereotype in order to
play through it. So Nakamura is the clich of the Oriental villain as seen in Hollywood
29
movies of the time, but with an underbelly that is very particular. That is true for all of the
charactersyou cant be scared to go for that stereotype. The Fly, as another example, is
the quintessential hard-smoking tough ass, but Brecht subverts her at the end by giving
her the best love song. So you have to be willing to grab the stereotype, in order to subvert
it, and not be shy about it. I know thats a hard thing to do today, because were so careful,
so politically correct, but that is the landscape of this play, as well as part of its pleasure.
It is important to remember that this gang is not Al Capone. These guys are pathetic,
just trying to make a measly $75 a month putting the squeeze on pharmacists. Theyre the
bottom feeder version of a gang, which is part of the humor of the piece. And they are as
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desperate for cash as the Salvation Army is. By the end of the play, in fact, the gang
becomes the Salvation Army and the Salvation Army becomes the gang. That is some-
thing Brecht was very cynical and knowing aboutin my reading of this piece, anyway. Its
not at all sentimental. Its a happy end as long as youre willing to accept that religion and
money are always going to go hand in hand, a theme we are all too familiar with today.
The ending of this play has been interpreted in many different ways, and the interpre-
tation depends on the music one chooses to sing at the end. In Weills score, the last song
of the piece is Hosanna, which is a kind of fake hymn to money. (We keep wanting to
change it to God Bless Halliburton. [laughter]) Michael [Feingold]s script, however,
ends with a reprise of Look All Around You. Im more interested in going back to
Hosanna, because I love the fact that everybodythe gang, the cops, the Armyall sing
together. Why are they so happy at the end? Theyre perfectly happy to take stolen money,
because they finally have their fifty thousand bucks and have found love, and, for a
moment, all contradictions are reconciled. The fact is, this gang of amoral looney tunes has
simply linked up with another kind of gang led by this fanatic chick. Major Stone is no
more generous of spirit than The Professor, really. Shes a very tough character, she runs a
really tight ship. She should have been a ceo, but shes running the Salvation Army. And
there she is in league with The Flys gang.
The point is, unless the whole culture shifts, the only way the Salvation Army can sur-
vive is to be in league with the gang. That is the critique the play offers. I think the last
thing we will see at the end of the performance is everybody passing the cash. Everybody
has a piece of the action and everybody is tainted in the same way. Thats the happy end.
Its very sardonic. The ending has often been done very earnestly, which is how it was done
at the Shaw Festival [in Canada], with the actors stepping out of character and singing
together as themselves, as actors, as if to say, You see, if we all stand together, things will
get better. But it makes me nervous when people do that with Brecht. I suppose thats one
way to make it work. Well have to see. It is important, however, that we think about what
30
the play says at the end, because we, too, live in a culture where religion has been co-opted
by big business, so much so that we dont even think about it anymore.
One of Brechts primary sources for Happy End was Bernard Shaws play Major
Barbara. And what saves the mission at the end of that play? The munitions manufacturer,
Undershaft, agrees to fund it, and the idealistic young Barbara is in despair because she
realizes that everybody in the mission is quite happy to have his money, which was made
on the sale of weapons. This is a contradiction we live with today. [Nonprofit organiza-
tions are] willing take Philip Morriss money, even knowing that it comes off the backs of
those who have died from cigarettes. Somebody has to take the money. So we take it.
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a composition of opposites
An interview with music director/composer Constantine Kitsopoulos on Kurt Weill and
Happy End

by jessica werner (may 11, 2006)

O n the centennial of Kurt Weills birth in March 2000, Happy End adaptor Michael
Feingold wrote in the Village Voice, Wherever you go in music theater, from mass
spectacle to surrealist caprice, Weill was there ahead of you. Feingold described Weill, notwith-
standing his many contradictionsorthodox Jewish cantors son, ambitious atonal musician,
introverted intellectual, both a classicist and a populistas the quintessential modern musician.
Weill is an inspiration to Constantine Kitsopoulos, music director and conductor of A.C.T.s pro-
duction of Happy End. Kitsopoulos hears in Weills enigmatic, ear-catching style a composer
adroitly (and courageously for his day) integrating a diverse range of compositional stylesjazz,
ragtime, tango, and classical orchestrationin a way they had never before been combined and
performed in the popular theater. His style is a hybrid, says Kitsopoulos. He created the
unexpected, so his music doesnt always go where you expect it to go. Kitsopoulos spoke with us
during the first week of Happy End rehearsals at A.C.T.

what do you find compelling about HAPPY END musically, and about
weills music generally?
I come from an operatic background, but I have done a ton of musical theater work, on
and off Broadway. The thing that attracts me to Kurt Weills music is that his style of com-
position is really hybrid. He was a classically trained composer, and actually had written
several orchestral works, but he also was very affected by jazz and ragtime, and those
American influences are very apparent in his theatrical works with Brecht. Later, when he
came to the United States [in 1935], he accentuated those influences, and other jazz-based
31
techniques, becoming what you might even call an American composer. His music, in
Happy End and over the course of his career, is incredibly varied, with many different
coherent styles. Yet, the way he applies those styles to his own work was always unique. He
would do things like, where there would conventionally be a four-bar phrase, he would
write a three-and-a-half-bar phrase. That creates the unexpected; his music doesnt always
go where you expect it to go.
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it s interesting how much american music had already filtered


into weimar germany by the late 1920s. theres a passage in a weill
biography in which his associates describe him going to hear
american jazz bands in berlin. his friend felix jackson says, we
all went to hear paul whiteman at the grosses schauspielhaus in
1926, and we heard gershwins RHAPSODY IN BLUE thrilling, a terrific
experience, because nobody had ever heard this kind of thing: a
symphony using jazz. and weills publisher hans heinsheimer says,
we went to nightclubs where some american jazz bands negroes,
colored people played something we had never heard; it was like
somebody in america hearing a tune from the eskimos.
This exportation of jazz is so interesting. Jazz is music that came out of the cotton fields
essentially, and we have to remember those are its origins in the American South. And if
you think abut the way black people were treated in the United States in the late 1800s and
early 1900s, its interesting to think about what some of their experiences would have been
if and when they made that journey to Europe, where Europeans tended to be a little more
open and tolerant, listening to different sounds and more accepting of different groups. To

32
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think that at home in the United States, these black artists couldnt sit at the same restau-
rant as white people, and there were segregated black theaters and white theaters . . .

and little did kurt weill know that within a few years [in 1933],
he would have to flee europe himself because of another virulent
kind of intolerance and head west, to america.
Its a fascinating subject.

while the jazz influence is felt in HAPPY END , do you also find
evident the classically trained weill?
The way the classical background fits into this is in the way hes taken jazz and made it his
own. I dont think there are sections of the score that you might actually be able to label
classical in style. Rather, its an integrated whole, and I think his ability to integrate
everything so well comes from his classical training and sensibility. Its a technical thing,
to be able to put all those elements together, and that he writes so well for the instruments
he chooses. The part he wrote for each instrument is idiomatic to that specific instrument.

the hybrid style you describe in weills work can make some
people think of his music as difficult, both to listen to and to
perform, because of its contradictions and complexities.
This is true, and one thing I find very interesting about approaching Kurt Weills music in
2006 is that we have had over the course of so many years the benefitI think its largely
a benefit, but there are also some downsides to itof an extensive catalog of various artists
recording Weills music. Weill is dead now, so it is hard to say how he would have wanted
things performed, other than to look at the printed page and get it directly from the source.
That is my approachto actually look at what he wrote in the score, in the tempo mark-
ings and dynamics and breaks, and do my very best to follow those very specifically.
33
Because one of the downsides of this incredible recording history is that there have been
an awful lot of people who have recorded his music and distorted it. People tend to play
and sing his music much more slowly than its written. Its the same thing that happens
with Puccini, whose music gets stretched out because it sounds like it should be romantic,
so the slower the better, right? One of the major challenges of performing Weills work is
having the courage to do just what he wrote. He was very specific.
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what about the point that came up in the first rehearsal about
the music being so punishingly high? is that how weill wrote it?
Indeed, the whole score is really high, and it is very difficult for performers. When I say
high, Im not talking about high cs, but it is scored in a relatively high range of the human
voice. Its what we call the second break of the female human voice, around es and fs and
gs, which is where the female voice usually becomes a little bit unstable. And to be able to
sit up there in that range the whole night is a real challenge for performers.

why do you think weill made that decision? what does it give us?
The sound of the voice is certainly brighter [in that range]. And it certainly gets your
attention. There may also be an element of influence from the actual way Happy End was
writtenWeill and Brecht didnt even speak to each other much about it as they worked,
and they wrote it separately while living in different places [Weill in the south of France;
Brecht in Berlin]. So we dont know if Brechts idea of a theater of alienation influenced
Weill in his decision to work at a higher pitch. Or maybe it was simply the fact that when
Weill wrote the piece, he wrote parts for specific people he had in mind for the premiere
production. It could be something as simple as that, and we never know these things.
Musicologists and performers, we all can make a big deal out of historical decisions and
[dramaturgical] details that in their inception could have been rather simplistic and benign.

one interesting characteristic of HAPP Y END is that the music and


the lyrics can seem contradictory and be at odds with each
other, that violent lyrics can have a lyrical accompaniment, and
vice versa.
Yes, its wonderful and unique to Happy End. Its a composition of opposites. So a love
song can have a more jarring accompaniment, which is not what a listener (or performer)
expects. In the middle of The Sailors Tango, there is a gorgeous lyric melody, and yet
34
the accompaniment underneath it is almost angular. You have these contrasts throughout.

it s an interesting strategy to keep our attention. you cant get


lost in the music when it s filled with those incongruities, the
way you can with some easier, more transporting music.
Thats the thing! When you take a conventional four-bar phrase and make it into a three-
and-a-half-bar phrase, it becomes something that holds your interest. Then the music
doesnt do what you expect it to do. The other distinctive thing is the orchestration, which
was written for a very odd combination of instruments. Weill once again scored for the
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same kind of band as in The Threepenny Opera, and its an unusual band. It has trumpet,
trombone, and two saxophones. Thats conventional enough, but then you add piano and
harmonium, which is an odd reed organ instrument. To include it in an orchestration is an
odd choice, an odd sound. And the percussionist plays conventional instruments, but at
some point in the show hes also required to play trumpet, as well. There are a lot of really
strange instrumental doublings.

are there particular challenges to working with actors as well


as singers?
It is a challenge, but in fact I always approach singers and singing anyway from the point
of view of the text because if the text is clear, it technically helps your voice come out
clearer. I do a lot of work with breathing, no matter who the performers are. To me, singing
is learning to do two things: to move air and to make clear vowel sounds. There are a com-
bination of techniques to use, but I always start from the breathing and the text.
If Im working with an actor whos not an expert singer, we might break things down
and have the actor speak the lyrics as if they are lines in a play. Then Ill underscore them
with just an outline of the accompaniment. And then gradually we integrate the parts, and
Ill say, Lets add some pitch to this. Its a more natural way for the actors to sing with-
out being quite so aware of singing, so to speak. Its great to start with what theyre famil-
iar with, and build on their strengths.

how is the HAPPY END band involved throughout the show? it looks
[from the scenic design] like an unusual integration of musicians
and cast, since the band wont be in an orchestra pit.
Yes, were going to be on a platform upstage. It does present some challenges. If the band
were just in the pit, I would have direct eye contact with the stage and with all the singers,
and theres a great advantage to that. In this case, the cast is going to be watching me on
35
monitors on the balcony rail. They will be able to see me, but I wont be able to prompt
them if anything goes wrong [laugh]. But I do think that actually having the band inte-
grated into the set provides many more advantages than disadvantages. It was something
Carey wanted to do from the beginning, to have us up there and visible. I think its a great
choice because the music is such an integral part of this production. The band is not just
a separate musical entity, but is very wrapped up in everything that makes this Happy End.
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is there anything else youd like our audience to know either


about HAPP Y END or about you as music director and conductor?
If you take a look at my bio, youll see that my entire career is an exercise in doing a great
variety of things. My career itself has been kind of a hybrid career, in the sense that I grew
up in the opera house, and was classically trained, yet Ive done a lot of musical comedy, a
lot of work on Broadway. I continue to do all of it: Broadway, symphonic work, operatic
work, etc. People always ask me, Whats your favorite kind of music? Well, I kind of
loosely quote Duke Ellington, who was asked the same question. He said, There are really
only two kinds of music. There is good music, and theres bad music. I like the good
music. [laugh]
Opera is my first love, but I love such different sorts of music, and I feel pretty lucky to
be able to work in so many different styles. I think that means I bring great flexibility and
versatility to this production.

that seems fitting given our discussion of the hybrid nature of


the music in this show, and weills own interdisciplinary back-
ground and influences.
My mother was an opera singer and she sang quite a bit of Weills music. So Ive been
familiar with his music all along the way, but this is the first one [of his shows] Ive done.
Its very exciting. Im really looking forward to performances. Rehearsals so far are feeling
great. Were getting a lot of work done, and were also having an awful lot of fun doing it.
Its great its finally coming together. Time to play.

36

OPPOSITE Miss Kirby, a Salvationist ( Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)


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the salvation army


by margot melcon

The Army was part of the discursive world of 19th-century evangelical


Protestantism; family was central, the Bible was literal, and society was ordered
and hierarchical. Yet even as Salvationists cleaved to these principles and asked
others to do the same, they acted on a more pluralist and modern understand-
ing. They were tolerant of others faiths, inclusive in their delivery of services,
and circumspect in sharing their witness. Aware of the need to distinguish
private faith from public religion, the Army modeled a new form of
Christianity which, as the century progressed, became increasingly distant from
its militant evangelical rootsand more at home in the modern world.
Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army,
by Diane Winston

The Salvation Army, as an international movement, is an evangelical part of


the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry
is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus
Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
The Salvation Army Mission Statement

he Salvation Army was founded in 1865 in


T London by William and Catherine Booth
as an evangelical organization called the
Christian Revival Association, the primary
purpose of which was to improve the spiritual
37
and material conditions of Londons hungry
and homeless. The Booths and their followers
became the Salvation Army in 1878, when the
organization evolved on a quasimilitary pat-
tern. Booth became known as the General,
and officers ranks were given to his ministers.
The Salvation Army first arrived in the United
States in 1880 when Commissioner George
Scott Railton and seven young women arrived
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in Philadelphia ready to pursue their charitable work and save souls, starting in New York
but soon stretching out across America. In 1885, Captain and Mrs. William Evans were
commanded to establish Salvation Army operations in Chicago.
The Salvation Army is arranged in a militaristic hierarchy. People who identify the
Salvation Army as their community of worship are called Adherents. Lay people who have
ascribed to the doctrines of the Salvation Army and devote themselves to volunteer serv-
ice for the Army are called either Salvationists or soldiers. Although soldiers play a large
part in the social service operations of the Army, they are supervised by officers.
One is not born a Salvationist. Those who join the church do so willingly and by choice.
To become an officer, one must complete a two-year course of study at a Salvation Army
college. The curriculum combines theory and field practice, including Salvation Army doc-
trine, sociology and social work, psychology, Salvation Army regulations, Bible studies,
church history, community relations, business administration, and vocal and instrumental
music. Upon completion, graduates are commissioned as captains and ordained as ministers.
Elevation in rank is determined by length of service, character, and devotion to duty. Officers
are devoted to full-time Army work. If
an officer marries, he or she must marry OPPOSITE Evangeline Cory Booth (18651950) Giving Toys to
Children ( CORBIS). Born in London in 1865, Eva Booth was the
another Salvation Army officer or relin-
daughter of William Booth, who soon afterward became the
quish his or her status as an officer, founder of the Salvation Army. Assuming a position of responsibil-
although in that case membership in the ity in the Army at 17, she became known for both her musical tal-
church may be maintained. ent and her striking personal appearance and was soon nick-
Early 20th-century Salvation Army named White Angel of the Slums.
In 1904 she became commander of the Salvation Army in the
officers were often young and idealistic
United States. During her administration, new forms of social
individuals called to service, largely due service were instituted, including hospitals for unwed mothers, a
to a desire to help those most in need. chain of Evangeline Residences for working women, homes for
Margaret Troutt, a female captain just the aged, and, during World War I, canteens featuring doughnuts
21 years old when assigned to the for doughboys.
38 Under her personal supervision the Salvation Army quickly
Armys Skid Row Corps in Chicago,
developed disaster relief services following the San Francisco
describes her experiences: earthquake and fire of 1906. She abandoned the organizations
tradition of street begging and set up instead an efficient system
[I]t was wonderful! We held
of fundraising. Booth was successful in enlisting the open support
meetings every night, with mid- of a great many distinguished and wealthy public figures, and the
night open-air meetings in front first national drive in 1919 raised $16 million.
of the burlesque houses in the dis- In 1934 Booth became the fourth general of the Salvation Army
trict. Our hall was packed every and the last member of the Booth family to hold world command.
She retired five years later.
night with men who often came in
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9125389.
HAPPY END_WOP.qxd 5/25/06 1:27 PM Page 39

for a bed ticket or coffee and . . . but many of them were led to the penitent
form before the meeting ended. Later they testified in service as to how they had
been changed from drunkards to sober men, from gamblers, liars, thieves, even
murderers to men who loved the Lord and wanted to live uprightly.

The officers were at the mercy of the Army for service assignments. Often they were
sent to undesirable locations, low-income urban and rural areas, where their safety and
well-being could not be guaranteed. These were precisely the locations where the Salvation
Army could do the most good, but such assignments often made the lives of the officers
and their families difficult.
One of the Salvation Armys marked characteristics has always been its insistence on
remaining an urban organization. While many religious sects have charitable branches that
reach out to the poor, they preserve distance between the righteous and the broken and
blighted members of society, forcing the needy to ask for assistance and offering the
already saved a refuge from the rest of the city. The Salvation Army, since its earliest days
in London, has taken salvation to the streets, blending the sacred with the secular, making
every street corner a place of worship
and every bar and brothel a church
ready to accept the converted.
As the number of Salvationists in
the United States grew, their critics
increased, as well. The spectacle of
Army officers on street corners
preaching in the slums was amplified
by detractors arriving to throw
garbage, pepper the sermons with
brazen comments and obscenities, and
hurl lewd remarks toward the holy 39
lassies. Salvationists were routinely
attacked and occasionally arrested
during their demonstrations. Early
on, the government saw the Armys
American membership as just another
group of do-gooders and maintained
the requisite state-church distance. As
the Army grew in number and reputa-
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tion, however, and its work proved invaluable through depression, disaster, and war, both
the public and the government began to rely on the assistance it provided and began to
increasingly respect its services.
The Salvation Army used whatever means it could to attract a crowd, and brass bands
were one of its most recognizable symbols, able to be heard over the din of hostile city
slums. The bands would often adopt popular tunes and rewrite the lyrics, transforming
familiar music into hymns. The music evolved over the years, gaining sophistication, and
became a large part of the Armys identity. By providing music and entertainment, as well
as food and shelter, the Army made the idea of salvation palatable for those who had pre-
viously shunned religion. In a commercial culture, the Army learned to sell salvation.
The Army tailored itself to fit the times, an era of competition, expansion, and profit.
To keep the organization growing, the Army offered services and entertainment, the price
of which was the sinners attention during a sermona small price to pay for those in
need. But even with the lure of a meal or a bed for the night, the performance was often
the primary draw, and a crucial tool for introducing people to a new relationship with reli-
gion. Writes Diane Winston, in Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation
Army: Redeeming the world, according to the Armys founder, William Booth, meant fac-
ing its challenges (poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, and prostitution) and turning its
secular idioms (advertisements, music, and theater) into spiritual texts.
The Salvation Army also became a well-known haven of comfort in the poorest urban
neighborhoods. Army soup kitchens and overnight hotels began showing up in the gritti-
est parts of town, offering hope to people who had had none before. In keeping with
Christian doctrine, the Army also opened alcohol rehabilitation programs, hospitals and
homes for unwed mothers, employment centers, and food and clothing donation centers.
Salvationists were on every street corner banging drums and singing hymns, but they
invited those who listened back to their missions for shelter and food, which was an entic-
ing tradeoff for people who hadnt seen kindness or a meal in a while.
40
As a service organization, the Salvation Army became an invaluable asset when fires, earth-
quakes, and other catastrophes hit urban areas. During the Great Depression and both world
wars, the Army was a powerful force recognized by both the government and the church.
Before World War i, Salvation Army officers had occasionally been dispatched to
European countries to offer humanitarian aid. Once American soldiers were sent over to
fight, the Salvation Army continued its service with its famous doughnuts to doughboys
program, traveling with the front lines. The Armys outreach continued and missions were
established across the European continent. Continuing to expand as its resources have
grown, the Salvation Army today operates in 111 countries.
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about chicago
by michael paller

H appy End is set in Chicago. Why there? Chicago had held a privileged place in
Bertolt Brechts imagination since 1920. That year, he wrote, How boring
Germany is! Its a good, average country, its pale colors and surfaces are beautiful, but what
inhabitants! . . . Whats left? America! At the same time, he was reading Upton Sinclairs
muckraking novel about the meatpacking business, The Jungle, and the Danish writer
j. v. Jensens The Wheel. Both set in Chicago, these novels profoundly influenced the plays
Brecht wrote just before and just after Happy End: a revision of In the Jungle (now called
In the Jungle of Cities), in 1927, and St. Joan of the Stockyards, in 1929. Also at this time,
Brecht worked on a play, never finished, about the wheat market in Chicago, called Wheat
and later Joe P. Fleischhacker of Chicago. In 1941, he would return to Chicago once more with
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The Chicago in these plays is very much that of Sinclair
and Jensena brutal and unfor-
giving place, where men fight to
the death over power and profits.
Brecht added to this vision an
exoticism he picked up from
other writers, including Kipling,
Verlain, and Rimbaud.
Politically, Chicago may also
have been attractive: Brecht had
begun reading Marx about 1926,
and Chicago had long been a
major industrial center as well as
41
a locus of the American labor
movement. It was the site of the
1884 Haymarket Riot and the
Pullman Company strike, as well
as the location of the founding of
the radical union the Industrial
Workers of the World (iww).
The Happy End plot summary
that Brecht gave Elisabeth
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Hauptmann specifies that the action occurs in Chicago, but this Chicago is a tamer place
than it is in either Brechts own plays or in Sinclair and Jensen. It is a city where good can
triumph over evil, and where evil isnt really so bad. This Chicago could be any city where
organized crime and crusading evangelicals exist side by side: it could be Cleveland,
Pittsburgh, Kansas City. It could be Berlin, a city that had seen innumerable serious dis-
turbances of the peace in the unstable years of the Weimar Republic. In a program note
accompanying a production of In the Jungle of Cities in 1928, Brecht wrote:

My choice of an American setting is not, as has frequently been suggested, the


result of a romantic disposition. I could just have well have picked Berlin,
except that then the audience, instead of saying, That characters acting
strangely, strikingly, peculiarly, would simply have said, Its a very exceptional
Berliner who behaves like that. Using a background (American) which natu-
rally suited my characters . . . seemed the easiest way of drawing attention to
the odd behavior of widely representative contemporary human types.

The same could be said not only of Brechts Chicago dramas, but of most of his plays,
very few of which are set in Berlin. For to overemphasize the importance of the Chicago
setting (especially of Happy End) is to miss the bigger point: Brecht liked to set his plays
anywhere but in the Berlin of his day, to enable the audience to distance itself from the
characters, the better to judge their actions. To be able to examine everyday behavior,
Brecht believed that we must be able to see it more clearly than we usually do; it must be
made to seem different or strange in order to stand out. Both Mother Courage and The Life
of Galileo are set in the 17th century, but the issues the characters face and the actions they
take in response are very much those of Brechts contemporaries.

42
A favorite drinking song in the Levee:

Oh, the night that Paddy Murphy died, I never shall forget,
We all got stinkin drunk that night and some aint sober yet.
But the only thing we did that night that filled my heart with fear:
We took the ice right off the corpse and put it in the beer.
Wo, ho, ho,
Thats how we paid our respects to Paddy Murphy.
Thats how we showed our honor and our pride.
Thats how we paid our respects to Paddy Murphy on the night that Paddy
died.
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Since at least the end of the 19th century, Chicago had been known as a city where any
imaginable vice could be satisfied. Until World War i, the center for this activity was a
place called the Levee, part of the First Ward. The First Ward was infamous as a place of
extraordinary political corruption in a town that specialized in it. (The aldermanthe
equivalent of a city council member or supervisorfor the Ninth Ward in this era, Nathan
T. Brenner, said, There are only three aldermen in the entire 68 who are not able and will-
ing to steal a red hot stove.) Chicago historian Stephen Longstreet writes of the Levee
and the adjacent Tenderloin:

Vice ran wild and open on the Levee; depraved brothels, obscene concert
saloons flourished. South of the Levee was created the Tenderloin, [where] the
whorehouses ran double shifts, and the girls displayed themselves as window
showcases. Streetwalkers moved freely through the section in infectious
exuberance. In a sermon it was said that Chicago is again the wickedest wide
open town in America.

Conveniently located for downtown businessmen near the southern fringe of the Loop
and high-toned Prairie Avenue, the Levee district was just a few blocks square, but it was
home to more than 200 brothels of varying quality and honesty, catering to most every
heterosexual male taste. The most elaborate and famous house was the Everleigh Club, run
by two dedicated and highly successful sisters, Ada and Minna Everleigh. They carefully
selected each woman they employed. I talk with each applicant myself, Ada later said.
She must have worked somewhere else before coming here. We do not like amateurs.
Inexperienced girls and young widows are too prone to accept offers of marriage and
leave. Some of the Levee bordellos were high-class establishments like the Everleigh; a
great many were low-down dives where men were as likely to be rolled as serviced.
Drugs were a large part of life in the Levee, and many women who became prostitutes
there became trapped thanks to the habit. One druggist in the Levee sold 500 tablets of
43
morphine sulphate a week, while four others each sold four pounds of morphine and six
ounces of cocaine, mostly to prostitutes, every month. The women were sometimes called
air walkers, thanks to another easily available drug, an inexpensive cocaine substitute
called encaine.
The Levee was also the midwestern corridor for traffic in white slavery (girls who were
kidnapped and forced into prostitution), according to historian Richard Lindberg. During a
two-month period in 1907, 278 girls under the age of fifteen were rescued from white slavery
dens in the Levee. Indeed, the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across
state lines for immoral purposes, was named for Congressman James Mann of Chicago.
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Disorderly saloons (establishments that allowed prostitutes to ply their trade openly)
and gambling dens could operate with impunity because they paid considerable protection
money, not only to the police, but also to the wardheelers and aldermen, all loyal members
of the Democratic party machine that ran the city. The two aldermen who presided over
the First Ward were legendary figures in Chicago: a bathhouse and saloon operator named
John Coughlin, known as Bathhouse John, and Michael Hinky Dink Kenna, a saloon
and gambling-joint kingpin (Michael Feingold named The Professors alibi location, the
Hinky Dink saloon, for Kenna). Brothel owners had to buy insurance from a company
owned by Bathhouse John, purchase all their liquor from one of the Levees most notori-
ous whorehouses, Freibergs Dance Hall (half of which Bathhouse owned), and obtain sup-
plies from one of four grocery stores that were also part of Bathhouse and Kennas fiefdom.
Bathhouse and Kenna won election after election by buying every vote, from fifty cents to
a dollar apiece. The yearly ball they threw to raise money for the Democratic party was a
notorious event; on at least one occasion a patron was killed on the dance floor.
There were efforts at reform, of course. Year after year, political efforts proved useless:
there was too much money involved and no profit in virtue. Religious reform was also
attempted from time to time; there was plenty of raw material for such organizations as
the Salvation Army and individual evangelists to work with. The most famous evangelist
to try his hand at reforming the Levee was the Englishman Gipsy Smith.

auptmann and Brecht set Happy End before World War i, around 1910. Michael
H Feingolds adaptation of the original text takes place in 1919, a particularly colorful
year for Chicago. It was by then a city of about 2.6 million people, and every third day,
according to the Chicago Crime Report, one of those people was murdered. In January, the
Eighteenth Amendment to the u.s. Constitution was passed, commencing Prohibition,
and the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was suddenly rendered
illegal (although technically, consumption was not). Prohibition took effect in Illinois on
44 July 1.
In June, the Illinois legislature approved the Nineteenth Amendment, and became the
first state in the union to approve womens suffrage. Two of the three votes against the
amendment, however, came from wards in Chicago. A month-long drought raised ten-
sions in the citys poorer districts, and in July three days of race riots killed 26 and injured
more than 300. Also in July, a Goodyear dirigible called the Wingfoot burst into flames
above downtown and plunged like a firebomb through the skylight of the Illinois Trust and
Savings building at Jackson and LaSalle, killing 13. In August, there was a pitched battle
in the street between the cops and members of the iww, who struck the popular
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Weeghman restaurant chain for higher pay and an eight-hour day. And in October, the
scandal that came to symbolize all that was crooked, not only in Chicago but in the United
States, erupted when the White Sox threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.
In a bit of doggerel that Brecht might have admired, the sportswriter Ring Lardner
wrote:

Im forever blowing ballgames,


Pretty ballgames in the air,

I come from Chi,


I hardly try

Just go to bat, and fade and die,


Fortunes coming my way,

Thats why I dont care


Im forever blowing ballgames,

For the gamblers treat me fair.

By 1919, the Levee was a thing of the past, as was the segregation of vice into a single
neighborhood. Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink Kenna had passed on to the great Levee
in the sky, their places taken by other crooks, and, as Prohibition got underway, by organ-
ized crime. The next crime lord, Big Jim Colosimo, got his start as a First Ward
Democratic precinct captain (a lower-level party official). His take from his various crim-
inal enterprises, which included bordellos, white slavery, and gambling, often surpassed
$50,000 a month. Once the Levee had finally been closed in 1912, Colosimo saw that there
was room for vice across the entire city and nearby suburbs, and within a few years he man-
aged to control most of it, thanks to threats, extortion, and payoffs to police and public
officials. He was assassinated in 1920, when his rackets fell into the hands of his second in
45
command, Johnny Torrio (who is still suspected of planning the unsolved crime).
Torrio built a fiefdom of vice much larger than had been seen in Chicago before, yet he
himself lived a quiet life of rectitude and culture. While overseeing the expansion of his
empire into the suburbs and making more than $100,000 a year, he spent most of his
evenings quietly at home, in slippers and a smoking jacket, playing cards with his wife or
listening to records. He would occasionally go out to a concert or the theater, and was
known as an authority on classical music. His wife called him the best and dearest of hus-
bands, and said that their marriage was like one long, unclouded honeymoon.
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Gangsters in a Chicago Police Lineup. It is reported that gangsters have been imported from New York, St. Louis, and San
Francisco in the recent gang war that was revealed in Chicago yesterday. Machine guns were found in the Atlantic Hotel, trained
on a cigar store across the street which was known to be frequented by Al Capone and Antonio Lombardo, leader of the Unione
Siciliana. Police say the two men were marked for death. Leaders of the opposing fashion, Michael Bizarro, Joseph Aiello (leader
of the gang that opposes Capone), Joseph Rubinello, Jack Monzello, and Joseph Russio (l to r) were rounded up by police and
brought downtown. All have long criminal records, and police orders are now to kill them if they resist one bit. Photographed
November 22, 1927 ( Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS).

Ever aware of the way the wind was blowing, by the time Happy End takes place, Torrio
was, according to Chicago crime historian Herbert Asbury, holding long conferences with
the leaders of the principal criminal gangs and persuading them to abandon bank robbery,
burglary, and banditry, for the time being at least, in favor of bootlegging and rum-
46
running. The smaller-time activities were left to people like The Fly and her gangwhile
Torrio divvied up the territory among various gangleaders. As long as these alliances held,
he controlled the actions of 700800 gunmen, and it wasnt long before he and his partner,
Al Capone, controlled all the illegal beer and liquor business in Chicago and for miles
around. Their lieutenants and gunmen invented and perfected most of the techniques of
murder that were soon made famous in dozens of films, including the car ride that ends
with a bullet-ridden victim. Indeed, one of Torrios and Capones most feared gunmen,
Hymie Weiss, was said to have coined the term take em for a ride. This ruthless approach
to crime soon outstripped the seemingly more innocent capers of the gang from Happy End.
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a few references in HAPPY END

isaiah 66:17
In Act i, Lillian refers to a passage in the biblical book of Isaiah: The abomination and
the rat, they shall come to an end together, saith the Lord. She is adapting for her own
purposes the verse which, in the King James version of the Old Testament, states:

They that sanctify themselves, and purify


themselves in the garden
Behind one tree in the midst,
Eating swines flesh, and the abomination and the mouse,
Shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.

The chapter is largely concerned with salvation; Christians believe that the book of
Isaiah as a whole prophesies the coming of Jesus Christ.

nebuchadnezzar
Lillian compares Bill to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (605562 b.c.e.), who was
known in his day for conquering Jerusalem and rebuilding Babylon, including its famous
hanging gardens. In 586 b.c.e. he captured and destroyed Jerusalem, sending thousands of
Israelites into exile in Babylonia, beginning the Jewish diaspora. They remained there until
539 b.c.e., when Cyrus the Great set them free.
The biblical book of Daniel recounts how Nebuchadnezzar built a great golden idol and
demanded that everyone in Babylon bow down to it. Three Jews whom Nebuchadnezzar
had placed in powerful administrative positionsShadrach, Mesach, and Abed-nego
refused, and he had them cast into a burning fiery furnace. They emerged unscathed,
however, and on seeing this, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that anyone who spoke amiss
47
of their God be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is
no other god who can deliver after this sort.
Nonetheless, some time later, God punished Nebuchadnezzar for his pride by depriv-
ing him of his reason. He was found in the fields eating grass like the oxen, but after seven
years, his mind was restored.

mother goddam
In Act iii, Sam, dressed as Baby Faces mother, proclaims, You can do whatever you like
to mebut Ill still be Mother Goddam! Later, the brothel in The Mandalay Song is
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referred to as Mother Goddams. In John Coltons 1926 play The Shanghai Gesture,
Mother God Damn, as she is styled in the text, is the pipe-smoking owner of a bordello
in Shanghai. ( Josef von Sternberg made a film of the play in 1941, and Mother God
Damns name was changed to Mother Gin Sling.)

surabaya
Surabaya is the capital of Jawa Timur province on the island of Java, Indonesia. Since the
14th century, the city has been Javas principal trading center. It derives its name from two
native words: sura (shark) and buaya (crocodile). Local mythology has the two locked in
battle to determine which is the strongest animal in the area (an image Brecht would have
loved). They can be found today circling one of Surabayas local monuments, on the citys
modern-day official logo. Surabaya is a sensually rich place, as its major exports include
sugar, coffee, tobacco, teak, cassava, rubber, and spices.

praise to the fords and rockefellers hosannah!


Happy Ends stage directions describe caricatures of saints Henry Ford, John D.
Rockefeller, and j. p. Morgan as part of the set. Henry Ford (18631947) founded Ford
Motor Company, using assembly line manufacturing to massproduce affordable auto-
mobiles. John D. Rockfeller (18391937) was the founder of Standard Oil (the largest
descendent of which is ExxonMobile). Standard Oil made him one of the wealthiest men
in the United States. Much of his money was later given away, establishing Rockefeller as
a philanthropist. j. p. Morgan (18371913) was a banker whose financial prowess allowed
him to greatly influence the American economy.
Hosannah is a variant of hosanna, a cry of praise or adoration of God. It comes from
the Hebrew hoshlah-nna (save us), from hosia (to save) and na (an injunctive).

plus a crate of great cigars: henry clay


48
Henry Clay is a type of cigar originally from Cuba, known for its medium-bodied taste. It
is named for Henry Clay, a great American political compromiser, who held several impor-
tant government positions during most of the first half of the 19th century, including u.s.
senator and Representative from Kentucky, speaker of the house, and secretary of state.
The cigar is mentioned in the Rudyard Kipling poem The Betrothed (1898), about cigars
coming between men and women:

Theres peace in a Larranaga, theres calm in a Henry Clay;


But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away.
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sister miriam will fix you a seidlitz powder.


Seidlitz powder, dissolved in water, is used as mild purging agent. Comprised of tartaric
acid, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium sodium tartrate, it takes its name from its resem-
blance to the natural waters of the village of Seidlitz in Bohemia.

best thing ive heard since william jennings bryan


William Jennings Bryan (18601925) was a Populist politician, known for his great orator-
ical skills. A lawyer by training, Bryan represented Nebraska in Congress and was three-
time Democratic nominee for president. He supported womens suffrage and Prohibition
and was an outspoken critic of evolution theory.

not good to wave a gat


A gat is a gun, usually a pistol. It is short for Gatling gun, an early rapid-firing machine
gun invented by Richard Jordan Gatling and patented in 1862.

where did you think they was taking him, the palmer house?
The Palmer House Hilton is an historic hotel in Chicago. The first Palmer was built by
Potter Palmer as a wedding present for his bride, Bertha Honore. It opened in September
1871, only to burn down 13 days later in the great Chicago fire. Palmer rebuilt the structure
primarily out of iron and brick and dubbed it the Worlds Only Fire-Proof Hotel. It was
bought by Conrad Hilton in 1945.

come on, marconi, shake a leg.


Guglielmo Marconi (18741930) was an Italian physicist and the inventor of a successful
wireless telegraph system (1896). In 1909 he received the Nobel Prize for physics (shared
with German physicist Ferdinand Braun). Marconi later worked on the development of
shortwave wireless communication, the basis of nearly all modern long-distance radio.
49
To shake a leg means to hurry up or go faster. It originally meant to wake up and get
out of bed. The phrase comes from the navy, where officers trying to rouse their sailors
from sleep would tell them to show a leg, i.e., to stick a leg out of the hammock in which
they were sleeping to prove they were awake.

im gonna get me a lab that makes menlo park look like a phone booth!
Menlo Park is an unincorporated community in northeastern New Jersey, the site where
Thomas A. Edison (18471931) maintained his experimental laboratories 187686 and where
he perfected many of his inventions (including the electric light bulb and the phonograph).
HAPPY END_WOP.qxd 5/25/06 1:27 PM Page 50

questions to consider
1. Consider the way women are portrayed in Happy End. Several women hold positions of
authority. Compare and contrast: Hallelujah Lil and Major Stone; Major Stone and The
Fly; Halleluah Lil and The Fly. How are they similar and/or different? What is the source
of their respective power? What effect does each of these women have on Bill Cracker?
Based on this production, what do you think Brecht thought of women?
2. What are the goals and methods of The Flys gang? What are the goals and methods of
the Salvation Army? How are they similar/different?
3. Does Hallelujah Lil do the right thing in telling the truth to the police, thereby setting
Bill free? Why does Major Stone want her to lie? What would you do in Lils situation?
Lil seems very comfortable in the Salvation Army mission as well as in Bills Beer Hall and
on the streets of the city. What do you think was her background before she became a
Salvationist? How has she been changed by her experiences working for the Salvation
Army, particularly the events of this play?
4. What do you think of the combination of Brechts lyrics and Weills music? Do the seem
compatible? Do the songs move the story forward? How? How is Happy End like other
musicals you have seen? How is it different?
5. Brecht wrote Happy End in Berlin in 1929, having never been to the United States. What
do you think of Brechts depiction of Chicago and of American gangsters? How accurate
do you think he was?
6. What do you think of the design for this production of Happy End? How do the design
elements (sets, costumes, lighting) affect your perception of the story and how it is told? If
you were designing a production of this play, how would your design be different? Why?

50 7. Brecht was becoming a committed Marxist when he worked on The Threepenny Opera
and Happy End. What evidence do you find in Happy End of Marxist concepts such as
dialectical materialism (that change occurs as problems are resolved through conflict), dis-
trust in capitalism, and desire for a classless society?
8. What is the happy end that concludes the play? Do you find it to be happy? In what
sense? Who is happy in the end? Will their happiness last? What kind of statement do you
think Brecht wanted to make with this play?
9. How do you think this play would be similar/different if it were set in 2006 instead of
1919? In San Francisco, instead of Chicago?
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for further information . . .

on the creators of HAPPY END

Brecht, Bertolt. Brecht on Theatre. Trans. John Willett. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.
______. Letters 19131956. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Ed. John Willet. New York: Routledge,
1990.
______. Collected Plays. Vol. 1. Ed. Ralph Manheim and John Willet. New York: Vintage,
1971.
______. Poems 19131956. Eds. John Willet and Ralph Manheim. New York: Methuen, 1976.
______. The Threepenny Opera. Trans. Desmond Vesey and Eric Bentley. New York: Grove
Press, 1960.
______. St. Joan of the Stockyards. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: Arcade, 1998.
Drew, David. Kurt Weill: A Handbook. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
Elisabeth Hauptmann (Dorothy Lane) http://members.tripod.com/~go20ccm/ehbio.html.
Esslin, Martin. Brecht: The Man and His Work. New York: w. w. Norton, 1974.
Fuegi, John. Brecht & Co.: Sex, Politics, and the Making of Modern Drama. New York: Grove
Press, 1994.
Hayman, Ronald. Brecht: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
Hirsch, Foster. Kurt Weill on Stage. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
International Brecht Society. http://german.lss.wisc.edu/brecht/.
Jameson, Fredric. Brecht and Method. New York: Verso Books, 1998.
51
Kurt Weill Foundation. http://www.kwf.org/.
Morley, Michael. The Collaboration between Brecht and Weill. Garland Publishing, 2001.
Sanders, Ronald. The Days Grow Short: The Life and Music of Kurt Weill. New York:
Rinehart and Winston, 1980.
Schebera, Jrgen. Kurt Weill: An Illustrated Life. Trans. Caroline Murphy. New Haven,
London: Yale University Press, 1995.
Shaw, Bernard. Major Barbara. New York: Penguin, 2000.
HAPPY END_WOP.qxd 5/25/06 1:27 PM Page 52

Sheldon, Edward. Salvation Nell: A Play in Three Acts. New York: A. Kauser, 1908.
Taylor, Ronald. Kurt Weill: Composer in a Divided World. Boston, Northeastern University
Press, 1991.
Thomson, Peter, and Glendry Sacks, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Brecht. New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1994.

on the world of HAPPY END

Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of Chicago: An Informal History of the Chicago Underworld. New
York: Thunders Mouth Press, 2002.
Binder, James. The Chicago Outfit. New York: Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
Friedrich, Otto. Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s. New York: Fromm
International, 1986.
Hecht, Ben. Art and Architecture on 1001 Afternoons in Chicago: Essays and Tall Tales of Artists
and the Cityscape of the 1920s. Snickersnee Press, 2002.
Homicide in Chicago, 18701930. http://homicide.northwestern.edu.
Klingaman, William. 1919: The Year Our World Began. New York: St. Martins Press, 1987.
Lindberg, Richard. Chicago Ragtime: Another Look at Chicago, 18801920. South Bend:
Icarus Press, 1985.
Longstreet, Stephen. Chicago: An Intimate Portrait of People, Pleasures, and Power. New
York: David McKay, 1973.
McKinley, Edward H. Marching to Glory: The History of the Salvation Army in the United
States of America, 18801980. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980.
Neal, Harry Edward. The Hallelujah Army. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.
52
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle: An Authoritative Text, Contexts and Backgrounds, Criticism.
New York: Norton, 2003.
Wisbey, Jr., Herbert A. Soldiers Without Swords: A History of the Salvation Army in the
United States. New York: MacMillan Company, 1955.
Yaxley, Trevor. William and Catherine: The Life and Legacy of the Booths, Founders of the
Salvation Army: A Biography. Bloomington, mn: Bethany House Publishers, 2003.